Barbie Stein, a casting director for theater, TV and film, died Feb. 6 of heart failure in San Francisco. She was 40.
Stein was a much-loved figure in the Bay Area performing arts community. She moved from New York City in 1988 to assume the casting director job at S.F.’s Magic Theatre.
After five years, she went freelance, casting at a wide variety of local (and some national) theaters, including Marin Theatre Co., Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Theatre Rhinoceros, S.F. Shakespeare Festival, Theatre on the Square and Arizona Theatre Co.
She was an ardent advocate of color-blind casting, as well as hiring from within the area talent bank — at a time when local thesps grumbled that their major houses increasingly cast shows from L.A./NYC agent rosters.
Two years ago she formed a partnership with Nina Henninger and moved into film/TV casting, as more Hollywood produc-tions shot on Bay Area locations. They did ongoing casting for the CBS series “Nash Bridges
,” in addition to such bigscreen major studio features as “Metro” and “Sphere.”
Stein is survived by her brother, two nieces and a nephew.